Everyone has a unique starting point in counselling and a unique therapeutic journey. Usually we begin with a current day problem, but from there and as our relationship builds, our discussions gradually deepen and we can explore recurring difficulties and themes in your life.
Some of the things that counselling can achieve are:
- Help you to understand yourself and what has happened in your childhood that has led to your current difficulties.
- Help you to see patterns in your ways of relating and to free yourself from these.
- Increase awareness of feelings.
- Help you to feel stronger and more stable in yourself.
- Lessen your need for external things, such as alcohol, to soothe yourself, and teach you new and better ways.
- Help you to take responsibility for your life and make it what you want it to be.
“Experience has taught us that we have only one enduring weapon in our struggle against mental illness: the emotional discovery of the truth about the unique history of our childhood.”– Alice Miller
Counselling or Psychotherapy?
I am qualified as both a counsellor and a psychotherapist. If you have a problem which you think can be addressed in a short number of sessions then a series of 6 or 12 counselling sessions might be appropriate. If your problem is more long-standing and complex you may require psychotherapy.
Psychotherapy is typically longer -term, ranging from 3 months to several years in duration. It is normally conducted with an open-ended contract, meaning that you terminate when you feel you have reached a point of completion so long as you give the required notice.
If you are not clear whether it is counselling or psychotherapy you require we can discuss this at your initial appointment.
“There’s something wrong with me”
“I’m not good enough”
“I’m not loveable as I really am”
Do any of these sound like things you might say about yourself? Underlying beliefs you can’t rid yourself of and that get in the way of moving forwards with your life?
If you have had a difficult childhood this can be the way that it shows itself in adulthood. Other possible experiences are:
- you feel bad inside
- you feel alienated and different to others
- you struggle in close relationships
- you do not know what you feel or who you are
- you experience a lot of shame
Psychotherapy is a way of helping difficulties like this by becoming aware of the unconscious contents of your mind. We start where you are now by exploring your everyday experience and what troubles you. In the context of a supportive relationship we try to make sense of your experiences. Gradually there is increasing clarity and awareness of what happened to you and what the effect on you has been.
In this journey of self-discovery I travel alongside you as your empathic supporter. I do not know the answers in advance as everyone’s story is completely unique. It is the connection through your feelings with your past experiences that will help you rather than insight alone. With time you begin to see yourself in a new light and the burden of bad feelings is lifted.
Sometimes a couple can come to the point where it is impossible to talk about certain things any more. Perhaps an issue repeats itself and is never resolved, perhaps there is too much anger, hurt or vulnerability to be able to talk clearly. Couples counselling can add support and safety to your discussions and help you to talk constructively and get past these stuck points.
In gestalt everything that happens between two people is understood as a co-creation, which means that whatever it is, both people have a part in it. When I work with couple I always take this as a starting point. I try to understand and empathise with both people and provide support equally.
I help you to hear each other more clearly and without so much defensiveness or reaction, to increase empathy for each other and to take responsibility for your part in a problem. Once a couple is relating more successfully they naturally agree compromises and solutions more easily.